A custom home builder’s state of the art Buckhead residence…
Considering his 12 years as a luxury custom home builder, it’s easy to understand why Sherwin Loudermilk’s personal Buckhead residence is so gobsmackingly impressive.
And since it’s situated on such a narrow Buckhead corner lot (.76 acres in total), its footprint necessitated numerous city-sanctioned setbacks, making the process of building a large, five-bedroom home a bit of a puzzle.
“We had all these pieces of paper that we cut out and started moving around, almost like Legos, to see where things would fit,” says Sherwin’s wife, Roane, a real estate agent who also scouts the land they build upon, liaises with interior designers and handles marketing. For her family’s own residence, she acted as general contractor—and then some.
As with all Loudermilk Homes projects, the couple was able to dictate exactly what they desired via sophisticated drafting documents, then hand it over to a local architectural firm for engineering and minor tweaks. The result? An L-shaped layout composed of striking modular volumes (rectilinear architectural building blocks) behind a smooth stucco facade. Inside boasts 3-foot-wide doorways, 12-and-a-half-foot ceilings, contemporary finishes and—the piece de resistance—a spacious kitchen featuring loads of workable counter space and a minimum of 4 feet fronting the island. The cooking space is the room from which all the others flow. A family room blends imperceptibly into the kitchen, and this is expanded via a spacious porch, accessed by floor-to-ceiling glass “moving walls” and outfitted with a mod fire pit featuring cut-glass gems.
It’s one of Roane’s favorite places to take her morning coffee, or a nap, and it overlooks teen daughter Mina’s home basketball court under the beautiful canopy of a purple flowering tree. But the three Loudermilks’ favorite space? The neighboring sunroom, surrounded on three sides by clean-lined, iron-framed windows.
“In our old house, we had a sunroom that we lived in. So we knew we had to have one here,” Roane explains. “We eat here, hang out here, read, talk, discuss business, whatever. We’re outdoors people, and it’s like having that inside.”
At the front of the home, a flanking pair of formal spaces delivers traditional comforts in a modern, new construction setting. This includes the Loudermilks’ elegant living room, with its 100-year-old grand piano and room hugging Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams settee, and the parallel dining space, with its oversize Restoration Hardware chandelier and spacious dining table from the family’s favorite Laguna Beach resource, Shine by S.H.O.
“We lived in Laguna Beach for a few years before returning to Atlanta,” Roane reveals, which explains their cool California interior design and décor. This front-of-house setup is well suited to entertaining, since they host intimate gatherings nearly every weekend and large parties every six weeks or so.
The entire first-floor perimeter is stocked with entertaining essentials, from a handsome bar with genteel details shaped like X’s and enormous cabinets that stock cookware and serving pieces to a fully equipped butler’s kitchen that gives service staff a place to prep every course of the evening while tucked neatly out of sight.
Not far beyond is the door to the 25-by-10-foot mudroom. Featuring heated tile floors, it serves as a dog run for the family’s two rescue Dachshunds and houses a wall-to-wall shoe closet that stows their everyday and active footwear.
While a stunning stairwell sits at the heart of this home, the route up the back stairs is much more fun—up and over the garage, a secret door (a rotating bookcase, actually) leads to a built-in bunkroom where Mina loves to pile in with friends from her basketball team at the Atlanta International School.
Beyond the bunkroom’s linear sleeping quarters are the home’s most personal domains: a casual hangout room, stylish guest suite and Mina’s own bed and bath. Featuring tile selections she picked herself and on-trend furnishings from Restoration Hardware Teen, it represents a 14-year-old girl’s decorating dream (touches of paisley, Moroccan poufs and girly Z Gallerie artwork).
The main stair hall also leads to the slightly more private master suite, where Roane and Sherwin have their treasured sleeping spot, sitting area and a spacious master bath outfitted with a salon-style vanity chair and a cutting-edge, built-in, acoustic soaking tub. “In lieu of jets, it actually vibrates to the music of your favorite songs,” Roane notes.
Despite this home’s many design virtues, technology is perhaps its most exciting element. Tech-savvy Sherwin, who previously worked for eight years in web development (early dot com) and telecommunications for IBM, explains that the home has a 24-hour-accessible, on-site camera and sophisticated system of checks and balances. And it has a built-in “brain” that controls every aspect of the residence according to homeowner’s preferences. Whether that means blinds that automatically lower to block harsh afternoon sun, a coffee maker that switches on when morning alarms go off or a backyard irrigation system that suspends sprinkling when the basement door opens, all of the latest conveniences are accounted for.
The Loudermilk’s home also comes equipped with Amazon Alexa voice recognition technology. Like Siri, she can complete an array of tasks upon command, everything from changing the TV station to summoning an Uber for an evening out. “We have the most advanced Amazon Alexa integration on the East Coast,” Sherwin explains of the technology that is now incorporated into all Loudermilk Homes.
Even automated fireplace controls make it easier for them to feel at home. “We want to be able to take our shoes off, curl up with a book, relax, watch TV,” Sherwin says. “We want that comfort feeling… all year round.”
STORY: Kate Abney
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna